Episode 282: Why the Church Cannot Reform on the Gay Marriage Issues

13 comments on “Episode 282: Why the Church Cannot Reform on the Gay Marriage Issues”

  1. Chris Tolworthy Reply

    The conclusion, “everyone becomes men” – that was the argument at the end of the gospel of Thomas. Peter was sexist about women, so rather than argue with him Jesus said “fine, we will call them men.” I think Jesus was a lot smarter than his apostles.

  2. Joshua Neal Reply

    I wanted to say first of all that I agree with what John was saying except I think he overlooks one important point, which I believe I heard him make before, that is internal validity. if the church had it then it his argument would matter, however due to the fact that they don’t they can really do whatever they want and tell you to forget about it. they never deal with the ramifications of their changes in doctrine and practice

  3. Zach M Reply

    Here is my mythical construct of the new Mormonism that has gay marriage allowed and accepts gays as full members (rather than the partial which is what I think they will actually do).

    1 Destroy current priesthood and create a priesthood that exists only within marriage; a couple together holds the priesthood, hetero or homosexual. Or a single asexual person as seen below. Priesthood is bestowed as part of the endowment, received only at marriage or 18 if asexual.
    2 Remove third hour of church (bonus for everyone).
    3 In the temple, change the narrative so that men and women swear to obey the law of the lord and hearken to the council of their spouse.
    4 I’ve never thought that young missionaries were useful, so require missions of senior couples, and no longer do single missionaries; or adopt the JW system of missions, which has much more success since you never leave your area unless you move away.
    5 Change the theology to say that spirit children are created via the priesthood of a couple (or asexual) and that sex is for pleasure of the couple after death (besides, celestial bodies begetting spirits is a stupid doctrine anyhow).
    6 Easy way to fix mormon God: he is asexual, ergo, no woman, and he can use the priesthood of his innate coupleness of self (asexuals will have to be a recognized enigma) to create the spirit children–it goes better with the Abraham narrative anyway.
    7 Don’t do posthumous work anymore and change doctrine to say that in the resurrection, the person will go through the temple themselves (during the millennium).
    8 Rewrite the temple to be about Jesus (current Jesus-ness is like 2/100, move it up to like 85/100) and change the tokens and signs to be things that you learn from him and test people on that. They will have to come to the temple to learn for themselves and just have them go through as themselves over and over again and you still have that control and the temples still have purpose.
    9 Say that the scriptures are euhemerisms (mythical constructs around possibly historical things or people-though usually not-which are meant to teach to moral lessons), which they are. There is then no problem with no historical evidence, science can be accepted, and you can pass off the distasteful as either metaphorical, or no longer applicable. There are modern prophets who can outright say that a verse is no longer doctrine, and they can move it to a previously cannon category and print it in orange or something.

    Hope you found reading that entertaining.

    • Alessa Cristales Reply

      Agreed, but not quite sure how current active LDS people would cling to the ideals that are suddenly so new and just throwing out the old.
      I think that ‘out with the old and in with the new’ would not be as welcomed in these days, as it was in the past.

  4. Jacob Brown Reply

    John overestimates Mormons concern about being consistent and unchanging with their doctrine, theology and social practice. Like any other social institution, it evolves for its own survival. The Church being a conservative institution will change only as much as it has to in order to survive. How the institution will evolve is problem along some of the lines that John discussed as barriers. Mormons can de-emphasize all kinds of things that you might thing are essential when it works to their bias.
    The Church is not going to change in any dramatic fashion. It will take decades. This gives time for the new generation to forget what the Church was and gradually reinvent what is fundamental to Mormonism. This probably means that being heterosexual will be supreme for a long time after gay marriage is tolerated and accepted. But eventually, the fog of time will allow the Church to slowly and gradually change enough to keep from being rejected by its own evolving membership.
    In the end, the Church will not even have to defend its own anti-gay behavior. Members in the far future will not know about it or dismiss it as past behavior that has no bearing on the truthfulness of the Church for them.

  5. Gabriel von Himmel Reply

    The Parallax Conundrum and the CTR (cathode tube ray)

    The persistence of doubt is unacceptable to all involved (including those who suffer under the cursed spell of mormon dominance) the opportunity costs are now staggering but that’s what we have here on Earth –– perhaps in Heaven too, or perhaps not. Manichean Mormons marvel at the permutations of good and evil.

    “Bibical” authority wishes it to be true.

    Thanks to the Divine Right Rite Priesthood of Melchizedeck ontology has a new source, erected in a new cloaked haze over time. One could say they made it up as they went along leaving glowing iridescent theological fingerprints and corpses littering the landscape, both the dust of the past and millennial longing for the gift of promises made are to be delivered as fictions –– conjectures for the wishful.

    A very serious question:

    If there are Sister Wives, why not Brother Husbands?
    All Mormonism appears anachronistic atavist and hubristic, but as a viewer from the balcony I can only marvel at the hijinks. There is much wriggling and squirming in the seats.

    How did the Melchizedek Priesthood come to be bestowed upon a “Hay Seed” from up country New York?


    THE RESTORATION of PRIVILEGE: The priesthood of Melchizedek is a role in Abrahamic religions, modeled on Melchizedek, combining the dual position of king and priest; that is how Joe Smith became King of the Earth. The Levites also got perks, extra wives and concubines for sport. So Joe drank from the cup of Judaism, with Levite blessings to the path of a fountainous gene-pool and authority that will carry on to the crack of doom or forever –– whichever comes first. As it is in heaven, so shall it be on earth and it will all be sorted out in the end.


  6. AxelDC Reply

    The LDS Church has no choice but to change. They changed on polygamy; they changed on open racism; they have moved dramatically on women’s issue even if they still are sexist. Just like society no longer tolerates racism, it is moving to no longer tolerating homophobia. Under 30s, the future of every organization, view homophobia with as much disdain as Baby Boomers viewed Jim Crow.

    More importantly, Mormons have thousands of gay members as children, siblings, cousins, friends and neighbors. Having a gay member of your immediate family can cause an enormous rift. I have seen families split apart because some choose their gay son or brother while others choose the church. Having a gay relative causes you to question your relationship to the church, as you see how horribly they are treated. You also see how the church demonizes gays and how your family member does not fit at all that stereotype. This triggers a faith crisis that causes many to ultimately leave the church.

    This fact alone makes Mormon homophobia more toxic to its growth than racism ever could. There were precious few black Mormons in 1978, but Mormon families keep producing gay Mormons at the same rate as every other family. If the LDS Church continues to demonize gays as American society learns to accept them, it will lose not only the gays and their family, but anyone who has learned to value them.

  7. Gail_F_Bartholomew Reply

    I agree with Jacob. Not only does the church have a history of changing theology, their view of god, and church culture, and doing this in spite of it going against scripture, but in this case we can see the church is changing and doing so rapidly.
    In the sixties, Kimball not only said homosexuality is an abomination, but it is caused by masturbation and homosexuality leads to bestiality. In the eighties Ballard said homosexuality was caused by selfishness. In 1994 Oaks said you should never call a person gay or homosexual only that they are suffering from same sex attraction. Not only has the church now abandoned this so has he. He has also given up going around the church saying that if gay marriage is adopted the country would require the church to perform gay marriage in the temples and the church would need to close all temples. He seems to have given up this lie.
    I believe John has given many good examples of why the church will fight this change. I don’t think it will happen over night or even all at once. I also think that they will give women the priesthood before it happens.
    I like what Martin Luther King jr said “the ark of history is long and it favors justice.” I think in 100 years will for it’s own survival will be a very different place. Just as it is a very diff rant church today than it was in 1914. Not that I would have any more use for it in its incarnation of a hundred years hence.

  8. Orrin Dayne Reply

    I’m not convinced that the Church needs to embrace gay temple marriage in order to survive financially. They have billions of dollars in the bank. If they don’t have enough already, they’ll eventually have enough to keep the Church running regardless of how many tithe payers leave over the Church’s anti-gay policies.

    But I’m also not convinced that the Church’s current theology cannot adapt to accommodate gay marriage. Correlation has almost killed all discussion of what the Celestial Kingdom involves. There certainly isn’t much talk these days about women pumping out celestial spirits (presumably out of the vagina of their bodies of flesh and bones — not really sure how that would work).

    Anyway, the point is that, in the following decades, the details of Celestial Kingdom life will be correlated to oblivion. At that point, there won’t be any mainstream/accepted view of the Celestial Kingdom that will conflict with gay marriage. And when the leadership has lived all their lives when society overwhelmingly supports marriage equality, they’ll have the freedom to change the doctrine.

  9. Kleinrock Osei Reply

    The Mormon Church has a new statement on what they call ‘Plural Marriage’ and what I call Polygamy, Polyandry, Pedophilia, and Pious-coercion. Is it an over reaction when your mind is blown away by realizing the exploits of Ol’ Joe Smith make Tiger Woods and Bill Cosby look benevolent and chaste in comparison?

  10. Kleinrock Osei Reply

    Please see previous comment and please state your opinion so that I can get some kind of feel on whether I’m over-reacting, I feel a vertigo overcoming me and I don’t know what’s going to happen to the Church.

  11. Chuck Borough Reply

    The Mormon marriage has nothing to do with civil marriage. We might as well make a law against going steady, or a law against sex without marriage, living together. Or we could make a law against baptizing by sprinkling. We are against baptizing by sprinkling, but I think we would have a hard time finding many Mormons who want it to be illegal. The Mormons have just gotten their underwear in a tangle over something they already don’t believe in – civil marriage with no Priesthood. The Church officially accepted that long ago as civilly legal and even OK for Mormons, while they are advised to get ready to have a later “sealing.” Gays marrying (civilly) is just like Catholics baptizing by pouring or sprinkling. We’re not for that’s being illegal, and, for the most part, we don’t even criticize it.

  12. Shep Voice Reply

    Regardless of anyone’s position God’s and Jesus’ position has always been the same (Neither God nor Jesus ever change). However, Many confuse truth (upsets & offends many) and hate. Telling someone the truth does not mean you hate them. Many ways SEEM right but its end is death (Hell). Pride comes before the fall of a man. Pride parades come before the fall of mankind – sign of the end-times.

    Sleeping with/marrying your own gender is in effect SLEEPING WITH/MARRYING YOURSELF which equals being LOVER OF SELF which is an abomination [God’s VALID REASON against this practice (right vs wrong love)]. It wrongly distorts, merges and blurs God’s male/female creation differences, characteristics, attributes and purpose-Lev 18:22, Rom 1:26-32, 1 Pet 4:3-4: Gal 5:19-21: 1 Cor 6:18-20. Also, even 1 man/1 woman marriages cannot be rightly put together w/o understanding God’s purpose for it (why there are so many divorces).

    Accepting, promoting or participating in gay lifestyles are against God. You cannot be a Christian if you do these things. It mocks God. Jesus was not talking out 2 nor 1000s of sides of His mouth=no confusion. Only one God can occupy true 360 deg infinity and that God is the God of Israel.

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